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New York Life insurance review 2020

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This big-name insurer boasts perfect ratings from all four major rating agencies.'s rating: 4.5 / 5


  • Get a quote if you want to customize your coverage with a wide range of riders.
  • Choose something else if you want to get a indexed universal life insurance policy.

18 to 90

Issue Age

$100,000 to $25,000,000



Medical Exam Required


Free quote Phone, Online
Monthly cost Not listed
Policies Term, Whole, Universal, Variable
Coverage maximum $25,000,000
Term lengths Any term length between 10 years and 20 years
Riders Accelerated death benefit rider, Accidental death benefit rider, Child rider, Guaranteed insurability rider, Lapse protection rider, Long-term-care rider, Return-of-cash-value rider, Spouse rider, Waiver-of-premium rider
Medical exam required Yes
Available states All 50 states and DC
Issue age Not listed

Expert review

Julia Cameron

Review by

Julia Cameron is a writer and editor who has experience in finance, mergers and acquisitions, content marketing and immigration law. She has a passion for interior design and an affinity for Old Florida, where she lives with her family.

Expert review

New York Life is an industry giant with a strong lineup of life insurance policies. It’s easy to compare your options online, and coverage is comprehensive, which makes it easy to find a policy that’s tailored to your needs.

That being said, you can’t apply for a policy online, and term life policies only stretch as far as 20 years. To explore your options, compare life insurance companies.

Best of 2020
Finder experts pick New York Life as a 2020 best brand for life insurance.

What affects my rate with New York Life?

To reach New York Life’s best rate class, you’ll need to meet these specific requirements:

  • Blood pressure. Maximum of 130/80 for ages 18 to 59, and a maximum of 140/85 for ages 60 to 69.
  • Cholesterol. Maximum of 250 with a maximum HDL of 4.5.
  • Driving record. Two or less moving violations within two years and no DWI or DUI within five years.
  • Family history. No cardiovascular disease in parents or siblings before age 60.
  • Nicotine. No nicotine use within the last five years.

How do I sign up for New York Life insurance?

Follow these steps to get started, then chat with an agent to finalize your policy:

  1. On New York Life’s homepage, click Don’t have an agent yet from the Contact Us tab.
  2. Select your financial goals, or click Skip to talk to a financial professional now.
  3. Enter your contact information, including name, address, phone number, birthdate and email address. Then, click Submit.
  4. An agent will contact you within a couple of business days to discuss your policy options.

What types of life insurance coverage does New York Life offer?

This company sells both term and permanent policies:

  • Annual renewable term life. This policy starts with low premiums and increases each year until the term length ends. These policies work well for people who want insurance for a short time before converting to a permanent policy.
  • Term life. Available for terms between 10 and 20 years, these policies offer fixed premiums and a death benefit if you die during the term.
  • Universal. This permanent policy builds cash value while offering flexible premiums and death benefits. New York Life offers a wide range of universal life options.
  • Variable universal. This policy invests its cash value in accounts with a bit higher investment risk than other polices for a higher return. It still offers the freedom to adjust premiums and death benefits.
  • Whole life. This simple permanent policy offers lifelong coverage with level premiums. It builds cash value over time, and policyholders may earn dividends with the insurance company’s profits.

What riders can I add to my life insurance policy?

Depending on your policy, you could add these common riders to your coverage:

  • Accelerated death benefit rider. Also called living benefits, this rider lets you access some of your death benefit early if you’re diagnosed with a terminal illness. You’ll pay a fee once you use this rider.
  • Accidental death benefit rider. If you die from an accidental injury, the insurer will pay an extra death benefit up to $300,000.
  • Child rider. Extends term coverage to a child in your home. The child can convert to permanent life insurance when they reach age 25 or marry, or when the policyholder reaches age 65.
  • Guaranteed insurability rider. Referred to as the policy purchase option, this add-on lets you buy additional insurance later without taking a medical exam.
  • Long-term-care rider. Allows you to pull money from your death benefit to pay for care expenses if you’re diagnosed as chronically ill.
  • Waiver-of-premium rider. If you become disabled for six months or more, this rider waives your premiums through the policy’s maturity through age 100. You can add this rider later, but you’ll go through underwriting again.

New York Life also offers these riders angled toward permanent life policyholders:

  • Return-of-cash-value rider. If you die within a specified time frame, your beneficiaries will receive a benefit equal to the amount of premium you paid into your policy.
  • Lapse protection rider. This rider guarantees a death benefit no matter how the market performs, as long as you pay your premiums and don’t violate loan requirements.
  • Spouse rider. This rider lets your spouse purchase a new paid-up life insurance policy without providing proof of instability.

New York Life insurance reviews and complaints

New York Life isn’t accredited by the Better Business Bureau (BBB), but it has an A+ rating for its customer interaction as of October 2020. The BBB has recorded 75 complaints since 2017, a relatively low number for an insurance company.

On TrustPilot, New York Life has earned 3.7 out of 5 stars based on one customer review.

Pros and cons of New York Life insurance


  • Long list of riders. The insurer lets policyholders customize their coverage with a wide range of riders.
  • Financial strength. New York Life holds top ratings with all four financial agencies, including an A++ (Superior) rating with AM Best. This shows that the company has the money to pay out claims.
  • Informational website. Unlike many competitors, this insurer has made its website easy to navigate, offering tons of policy details in plain language.


  • Term lengths capped at 20 years. Some insurers offer coverage lasting up to 25 or 30 years, but New York Life stops at 20 years.
  • No online quotes. You can input your information online, but you have to speak with a representative for pricing information.

Compare alternatives to New York Life

See how New York Life fares against other companies’ coverage and benefits. Check the Compare box to see up to four companies side by side.

Name Product Issue age Minimum Coverage Maximum Coverage Term Lengths Medical Exam Required
18 - 60 years old
5, 10, 15, 20, 25 and 30 years
This life insurance broker combines technology and the human touch to match you with a policy tailored to your needs.
21 - 54 years old
10 or 20 years
Affordable 10- and 20-year term life insurance policies with instant quotes and no medical exams.
18 - 85 years old
10, 15, 20, 25, 30 years
Depends on provider and policy
Compare affordable quotes from 12+ A-rated life insurance companies side-by-side.
Everyday Life
20 - 75 years old
10, 15, 20, 25 or 30 years
Build a customized laddering strategy to target specific financial responsibilities and save on term life.
25 - 60 years old
10, 15, or 20 years
Depends on policy
Get affordable term life insurance with accelerated underwriting or no-exam coverage up to $1,000,000. Available in all states except CA, NY and MT.

Compare up to 4 providers

Frequently asked questions about New York Life

Life insurance ratings

★★★★★ — Excellent

★★★★★ — Good

★★★★★ — Average

★★★★★ — Subpar

★★★★★ — Poor

Our experts analyze life insurance companies to help you to find the strongest possible policy and premium for your family’s needs. We assess their financial strength, customer satisfaction, policy features and riders. We then give each insurer a score between one and five stars that reflects their offering and reputation in the industry.

Learn more about our methodology here.

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